One of the most crippling things in life is addiction. Addiction can range from big to small things, it is described as a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm. Unfortunately, with most addictions, it does not only affect the victim but also the people in the victim’s life such as spouses, family, friends, and colleagues. It is vital to take account of our addictions, awareness is a critical step to making healthier and wise changes in our lives. In this blog post, I focus on the big addictions that disrupt people’s lives and make them unable to function properly within society.
Addiction is serious and it is important to identify a bad habit before it gets out of control. When we ignore the seriousness of its impact, we may be blinded and therefore find ourselves in cycles of addiction. Cycles of addiction can lead to serious relapses where individual struggles to have their needs met and therefore end up in old behavior patterns such excess drinking, substance abuse, manipulative behavior and rage, extreme sexual behaviors, to mention a few. At times, it may seem the old and familiar lifestyle is much better than trying to change hence addicted people may be stuck for years in those patterns- that is of course not entirely true, however, it may seem that way when consumed by addiction. The outcome of the same old habits can never bring about any good results which lead to more frustration and confusion. An individual may question the little progress that they have made and may discard it altogether when faced with these relapses. I think generally as human beings we are designed to desire progress in our lives and the absence of that can bring humiliation, anxiety, or pain. This can also make a person feel powerless and therefore they may end up giving in to the habit/ addiction completely. Sometimes when we have struggled with a situation for too long, we may give up and end up accepting it as part of our identity. The voice of the enemy is usually very loud during these times, accusing you and making you feel guilty and condemned. Too many times, this situation will build-up within an individual, particularly if one has not spoken about it or sought counseling for help. Unless one is a qualified therapist, it is difficult to know what to do with addiction. At some point or another, the individual will explode with rage or anger because the addiction has been held internalized for too long. This leads to harsh words, destructive behavior, and blaming others whilst not wanting to take responsibility for our actions. A lot of relationships get damaged along the way. A lot of us would not be able to understand people dealing with serious addictions because we have never been trained to understand the process that goes on within their minds, hearts, and behaviors. Even those who may are sympathetic and understanding can become overwhelmed as the relapses happen often. When alone after an episode or cycle of addiction, the individual may feel guilty as they see the pain their behavior has caused their loved ones. A lot of people with addictions may hold on very tightly to their addictions as it “helps” them escape the realities of their lives. This is not true; it may seem like it helps them cope but it makes things worse for themselves and their loved ones. Unfortunately, their understanding of their addictions can be very limited as they continue to live a destructive lifestyle.
These cycles can happen at any given time depending on our triggers and levels of healing. Imagine how hard it must be for the individual that is trapped in these cycles. It affects the way you see life and yourself. Your self-esteem and dreams slowly erode as you start to accept the addiction as part of who you are. When we believe we cannot change and we feel stuck, we are like dead people walking. If you feel you have no real purpose in life, then you probably will not be encouraged to do better or to even change.
God wants us healed and living our best lives, but addictions bring a lot of disruption, pain, and shame. It is difficult to see beyond this lifestyle, especially when you feel you are in it alone. This post is written to provide a bit of clarity for those who are struggling with addictions and those who may find themselves having to live with/ support addicted loved ones. Help is available for both addicted people and those struggling to support. I encourage you today to reach out for help as this may save people’s lives and families. Sometimes hard love may be required to see a change in our loved ones, if that is your resolution, do it with the guidance of qualified therapists or even better, the guidance of the Holy Spirit- our Greatest Teacher. If you need assistance to reach therapists or relevant service providers, go to the contact page and share your details, we assist with referrals.
Now the LORD spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one with attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” -Acts 18: 9